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hoarea 04-11-2008 02:10 PM

double switch
can some one try to explaine this to me. i have a double switch i am trying to change it to two single ones problem is in side the box there are only three wires red, black, and white. red is on top left, black is on bottom left and white is on top right. red and black are not connected. the run two different lights and there is no other switchs for them. is it posible to put 2 switches in?

kok328 04-11-2008 03:20 PM

I'm not sure I understand your question.

However, you can not replace a 3-way switch with two one way switches.

hoarea 04-11-2008 03:44 PM

it is not a three way switch. a three way switch would have 2 switches for one light would it not?

triple D 04-11-2008 08:10 PM

Check again
Horea, I'm quite sure what you are describing is a 3-way switch. Check the switch, it should not say on/off on it. If it does, it will be a first for me. A three way will not have any writing on it. The only thing is where is the other end hiding? Sometimes in a remodel I will disable one end by nutting the black and white together and putting a blank on the box. This allows the other end to act as a single pole. See if you can't gather some more info for us, like how many wires are in the light fixture boxes. Maybe we can help you out with some of those old school tricks. Let us know, good luck....

hoarea 04-12-2008 04:32 AM

ok. i no it is a double switch with two switch lever, a three way switch has only one switch one lever turns on a ceiling light in the back room and the other lever turns on a outside light. so this is why i am confused. there should be a forth wire.

Square Eye 04-12-2008 06:50 AM

Someone may have dropped a 3 wire into the box from the last fixture or from a junction box in the ceiling. The switch sounds like a duplex top/bottom switch.
The power most likely comes in on the white and returns on the red and the black. GET A METER. Check it out. If you can't get a meter, turn the breaker off, connect the black and white. Turn the breaker back on and go look to see which light comes on. turn the breaker back off and connect the white and red, breaker back on, check again which light comes on. If nothing, turn the breaker back off, then try black to red. One of those wires will work with both lights and that will be your common power source. Pigtail it with 2 leads. Run one to each switch. Then the other 2 wires, one to each switch.

hoarea 04-13-2008 05:02 AM

thanks for all the help. did what square eye said and it worked fine. white was hot

Square Eye 04-13-2008 08:02 PM


I got ONE right! :D

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